Combat Climate Change by Regulating Fossil Fuels

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While last year’s Paris COP21 was a step towards implementation of frameworks to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees, there is still debate on whether this can be achieved. Considering continued industrialization and a business as usual scenario, this global goal may not be achieved, unless if every stakeholder is to responsibly play their part in creating a less carbon future. Despite different global commitments, the global carbon levels continue to increase which possess a threat if major contributors like the fossil industry are not regulated.  Based on both New Policies and Africa Century Case Scenarios, the carbon emissions in Africa are expected to increase during this generation due to increased total final consumption, with the highest contribution being generated from total final consumption of oil. This can be related to the growing transport industry and transport sector which will require more energy needs unless there is rapid transformation of technology. To achieve the goal of keeping global temperature increase below 1.5 degrees, is one major reason why we need to regulate the fossil fuel industry and this can be partly through keeping them accountable and making them pay for their damages.

Climate Change in African Context

The countries that mainly host these industries, have capacity to easily deal with the consequences of these industries on the planet, nevertheless, there are parts of the world that cannot easily deal with climate change impacts, mainly due to limited adaptive capacity. Africa despite contributing so low to the global carbon emissions is hard hit by the consequences of global warming. Over two thirds of the global carbon emissions for 2013 were produced from only ten with China and the United States contributing 28% and 16% respectively far ahead of all the other countries. This implies that whereas Africa maybe facing the consequences of climatic change, it cannot be assumed that these consequences emanate from Africa’s failure to control carbon emissions but rather from the total global emissions. Continued global warming worldwide will have more devastating consequences in Africa if the global carbon emissions are not controlled. Global warming causes damage to ecosystems that provide us with food, water and energy and increases environmental stress through decline of water quality, air pollution, and desertification. Africa needs to be concerned about seven major areas: water resources, food security, natural resources and biodiversity, human health, costal zones and desertification. The above consequences are mainly as a result of carbon pollution from the fossil fuel industry and thus the fossil fuel industry bears responsibility and has to bear responsibility of solving problems that are climate change related. There is need for policy frameworks to make the fossil companies accountable to guarantee a safe and sound environment.

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